Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

4.4 105
by Neil deGrasse Tyson

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“[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects . . . with great humor, humility, and—most important— humanity.” —Entertainment Weekly

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with


“[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects . . . with great humor, humility, and—most important— humanity.” —Entertainment Weekly

Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson's talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson's favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry's feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America's best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.

Editorial Reviews

Anthony Doerr - Boston Sunday Globe
“It's more imperative than ever that we find writers who can explain not only what we're discovering, but how we're discovering it. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of those writers.”
Sky and Telescope
“Characteristically fun and jaunty.”
Angela Gunn -
“Dr. Tyson has a grand time dissecting certain forms of foolishness. Get it, plan to savor it”
Roy E. Perry - The Tennessean
“Tyson comes across as having an excellent grasp of the current state of astrophysics, cosmology, chemistry and other scientific disciplines... he conveys knowledge clearly to the nonspecialist, often with ingratiating humor and wit.”

Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, host of the 2014 television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and an award-winning author. He lives in New York City.

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Death by Black Hole 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
Calatelpe More than 1 year ago
This book is very easy to read, even if you are not otherwise very interested in science. One of its stronger points is its accessibility to laypeople. If you've ever seen him speak on tv, then you know how capable he is of making everything he talks about incredibly interesting (even if it might otherwise come off as mundane by someone with even a little less enthusiasm). His writing style is no different, and his own love of science (and astrophysics in particular) is infectious. I learned a lot of really interesting things from this book, things of which I had been disappointingly ignorant of beforehand. Lagrange points, for instance, or how just how much you can determine about the universe by literally measure it with a stick in the mud. Were you interested in the universe, in astronomy when you were a little kid...did you grow out of it? This book will take you back to that early appreciation, and it'll never let go.
Susan Nord More than 1 year ago
Neil deGrasse Tyson's enthusiasm for the universe is really shown in this book. Filled with humor, Death by Black Hole takes complex subjects and exposes them to the reader in a way that is very easy to understand. I benifitted from reading this book twice to better understand some of the concepts. Enthralling!
Old_Sage More than 1 year ago
In writing "Death by Black Hole," Neil Degrasse Tyson has proven once again that he is an exceptional Astrophysicist. His mental dexterity related to matters of science and the universe are beyond reproach. Although I would recommend his writings and lectures for the general reader to the scholar, I would caution the mentally obtuse to refresh their understanding of general science so that they can fully appreciate the insightfulness of "Death by Black Hole." I would also recommend reviewing Dr. Tyson's presentation during his contribution to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies' scientific conversation titled "Beyond Belief: Science, Reason, Religion & Survival." For those also interested in esoteric teachings, "Death by Black Hole" informs us that stars come in 3 basic colors: red, white, and blue. Interestingly, these were also the 3 colors chosen for the flag of the United States. Part of the brillance of Dr. Tyson and his book is how he takes common knowledge and sprinkles it with scientific study to make a cerebral subject like astrophyics interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read about half of this book for school, and found myself reading way ahead and finishing the entire thing. Even if you knew nothing about science and the cosmos, you could understand this. Tysonexplains everything clearly amd in depth. Great buy!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Is anyone else having trouble with the order of posts? I am not getting the most recent first for some reason... <p> Sapphirestar pulls herself upright once Spiritnight is removed from her, and she looks at Lavamist with unfamiliarity. There was a time she would have assumed Lavamist would always trust her, that if she had a reason to mistrust another she would trust her. "You're right Lavamist, I don't know what I'm thinking. I'm normally unfair and accusing, aren't I? You have reason not to believe me," Sapphirestar says to the younger shecat in sarcasm. "But why don't you ask Spiritnight? Since he is so trustworthy," the tabby directs her burning blue gaze at the tom, "ask him what I might have learned during my stay with the Ice Claws." <br> Spiritnight doesn't fight Lavamist when she pulls him back but growls a warning to Sapphirestar. He remains silent as she speaks and realizes too late that Sapphirestar knows his entire story. His heart pounds in his ears but still the tom maintains his silence. <br> Sapphirestar's gaze sharpens further and she slowly says, "Tell Lavamist the truth, show me there is even the slightest bit of honesty within you and speak up, or I will."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! It was very well-written and easy to understand. Dr. Tyson passes on a world (galaxy?) (universe?) of information in a highly entertaining manner. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in general science, astronomy, or cosmology. I have read a number of books on this subject, but still learned a lot from this one. Put it at the top of your must-read list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for all that want to know about the cosmos without falling asleep.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tyson takes the dryness out of the topic of the universe and makes the reader want to keep turning the page. I couldn't put this book down and is a great intro to a complex suject.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the title says this book was very informative. I liked the format it was presented in, which I can't really can't put in a category. Tyson did a good job explaining some basic, and some more advanced, topics.
Anonymous 5 months ago
A cinder colored female with amber orbs padded in. Deep inside her yellow cresents fire flickered slowly, desperate to be let out. With one flick of her black ears she turned to get a good look around. "Hello." She purred slowly, sitting down after she was content.
Anonymous 6 months ago
We're combining posts so as to avoid needing to delete one post and we plan on keeping this up for a bit. Today was extremely busy and tomorrow will be as well, things at MIT are crazy enough when you aren't sick, so yeah I'm drowning in catch up work. Anyways, there's going to be a lot going on here the next couple days so try to be around if ya can! :) <p> the small kit hisses and instinctively takes a powerful swipe at Flightpath's muzzle upon his approach, her small yet sharp claws able to draw blood. It is clear she doesn't trust, and doesn't feel safe unless buried within Sapphirestar's pelt. The tabby leader opens her eyes only at the sound of Lavamist's voice, blue gaze shinning with an unusual look of relief and sorrow. But with her awakening she also smells Spiritnight's scent wafting from her daughters pelt. Her head flies up and she spots the tom lurking at the edge of the clearing. All else in the shecats mind becomes unimportant as her gaze locks on him and fills with hatred. Even a response to Lavamist never comes as she stands on trembling paws. She leaves the kit on her own and races with a fierce growl towards Spiritnight; claws unsheathed and fangs bared. Words cannot even form within the tabby as she leaps onto the toms back and sinks her claws is. Spiritnight may have learned his fighting skills from outside of the clans, but Sapphirestar has just the same and with this traitor she isn't concerned with fairness. Her jaw closes around the back of his neck and she pulls him down with a sharp twist. "How dare you show your face here!!! I ought to tear your throat out-" <p> Spiritnight nods silently to Servalwhisker as she passes, carefully avoiding looking like he wants to chat. When his gaze returns ahead it is to see Sapphirestar's frail, starving looking bodice storming towards him. Whatever it is thst has her so angry Spiritnight doesn't stop to ask questions. Much like the kit, Spiritnight's upbringing has ingrained fight over flight as instict. As Sapphirestar tries to wrench him over he counters with a powerful swipe at her shoulder. His claws catch in flesh and he tears until blood runs down his white paw. Once the Horseclan leader has released him Spiritnight rises and- no longer in self defense but rather in spite at her attack- he takes another strike across her eye and muzzle. He takes advantage of her turning away in pain by lunging forward and implanting his teeth in her neck. They may be an even match as training goes, but Spiritnight is stronger even if Sapphirestar hadn't been starving and already injured. It is only then that Spiritnight detects the slight scent of the Ice Claws present in Sapphirestar's pelt and a tinge of worry echos inside of him. With Sapphirestar's neck in his grasp he forces the shecat down and tightens his grip.... <br> Sapphirestar let's out a yowl as she first feels her shoulder being torn into, and then Spiritnight's claws across her face. The tabby breaks rather easily, at the end of her threshold, as Spiritnight's fresh wounds are added to her just barely healing ones. Sapphirestar feels the tom pin her by the neck and darkness begins swallowing her vision as her desperate gasps for air become useless. <p> I plan on leaving this up for most of the day, you can talk to Spirit or I in the 3rd result, the leaders den if you like. And we are both on our way to reply everywhere else we are needed. Otherwise, I'll talk to everyone tomorrow/later today! :D
Anonymous 8 months ago
(Is Horseclan really back!?)
Anonymous 8 months ago
*the shecat padded in* "May I join?"
Anonymous 9 months ago
Heh. Hey, It's Thymedust. Silv or whoever Tom RP's here told me you were back. I however, don't contemplate returning just yet. It's been a long three years since I left Nookverse, and I have taken to Watt pad. Please consider looking for me on there! I'm known as Ticcinsu there. Hoe to talk to you soon! -Thyme & Co. ((Stormfeather, Cloudedthunder, ect.))
Anonymous 9 months ago
Hey so the chances of this are kinda low but how long has this clan been around? I used to RP in a Horseclan a long time ago and i think this might be it)))
Anonymous 9 months ago
He trots in.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Does anyone remember me?
Anonymous 11 months ago
Stumbled in with 2 small kits trailing behind her. "Can I join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great review or first time exposure to cosmology by a master.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ricter87 More than 1 year ago
It's well presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson, but that's not saying it's easy to understand. Stick with it though, it's worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book, is like reading his TV show of the cosmos. Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago